History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Wisconsin - Businesses - Bars and Clubs

Ten Hundred East
Location: 1000 E. North Avenue, Milwaukee WI


approx. 1969
approx. 1983

Male/ female
Bar/ social



Although the first advertising for the "Ten Hundred East" bar found is in the January 1973 issue of GPU News, reports are that this bar opened as early as 1968 or 1969.

Ten Hundred East was "the" bar to be in and be seen in by gay men, prior to the opening of the first Milwaukee gay mega-bar and disco/ dance bar, the Factory, in 1973. But even after that and other bars opened, Ten Hundred East continued to be popular-- especially earlier in the night. After a few drinks at 1000East, some people left to go downtown to the dance bars.

The August 1976 issue of the local "GLIB Guide" describes the business as follows: "One of the longer lived bars has remodeled into brickwork motif. Neighborhood group, dancing." And the Spartacus American Bicentennial Gay Guide (1976) described it as "A nice mixture of types, from the collegiates to the older crowd. Dancing, live entertainment and a piano bar. Worth a visit."

More information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it.


Recollections: The following are recollections of others who have been kind enough to submit their personal memories to the webmaster. You are welcome to do the same!

      "I used to go there regularly in the late 60's, early 70's. George Defenbach (sp?) was the owner. I think he used to bartend down at the Regency East. In those years, it used to draw a pretty good crowd, particularly on week-ends. If I remember it had red and black flocked wallpaper and no one who was ever there could fail to notice the pair of toreador statues at either end of the back bar. There was also a piano, but I can't recall ever hearing it being played. I remember being there the night of June 22, 1969 when Judy Garland was found dead in London. Gawd, I feel old!"

      -- Don Martinson, via Facebook (2018)

      "I was in there once or twice back in the mid-70s. It seemed to attract a "neighborhood" type crowd but on the whole was not a busy place, possibly because the location, away from the other gay venues."

      -- Rich Chris, via Facebook (2018)

Josie Carter inside Ten Hundred East
(photo courtesy of Josie Carter,
via Jamie Taylor)


GPU News, Jan. 1973- pg. 6

GPU News, Oct. 1973- pg. 8

GPU News, May 1974- pg. 10

GPU News, April 1975- pg. 7

GPU News, March 1976- pg. 40

GPU News, Dec. 1977- pg. 14

Building as it appeared in 2004

Building as it appeared in 2004

Credits: web site concept, contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: April-2024.

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